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Wandering Without Strings: Part 9 – The Dance of Unboxed Minds



In life, we are often instructed to "write what we know." And believe me, I know a great deal. Yet, knowing isn’t reality—it is an understanding, an abstract construct. When I share what I know, people demand, "show your work." Yet, I resist. The labyrinthine workings of my mind are beyond the grasp of most; their brains simply aren’t wired like mine.


So, I write to paint pictures. I hope my words, in their tangled glory, will form an image where readers might glimpse themselves, perhaps nudging them closer to understanding what seems so distant. Often, I am labeled arrogant. I understand why—when I assert that others can’t fathom what I know, they assume I’m claiming superiority, that I believe I'm somehow better. This reaction itself is a testament to the gulf in comprehension.


Humans are often binary creatures: better, worse; right, wrong. They categorize to feel safe. When something defies their neat compartments, they have two choices: deny it or integrate it. Most choose denial—it’s easier. Integration demands they open those boxes, and sometimes, it dismantles entire categories. That’s painful.


My brain doesn’t work in boxes. Some autistic individuals might relate. You can research this yourself; I’m not here to provide evidence. Believe me or don’t—it’s futile to care. Having a box-free brain isn’t superior or inferior—it’s simply different. For me, it means each morning, I must craft a system to navigate a world filled with boxed minds. It’s exhausting.


The systems crafted for living in this world were created by boxed brains. How does one reliably function in this without glitching? The truth is, we don’t. Some people see the value in unboxing their brains, which has happened throughout history, yet the act of unboxing often becomes a new form of boxing.


Take the pathology paradigm of autism: boxed brains created a neat little box for us, and many have jumped right into it. Remember, humans seek safety, and that box feels safer than the vast unknown outside it. I didn’t know that box existed for most of my life, so I never jumped into it.


When I discovered other unboxed brains in the world, it felt liberating. But then I saw the box they had jumped into. That box was stifling, more painful than being alone outside of it. For some of us autists, when we find a box that seems to support us, we dive in headfirst—perhaps a result of some black-and-white thinking.


I’ve jumped into a few boxes throughout my life: the Mom box, the Wife box, the Worker box, the Woman box, the Autism box. Each one became so oppressive that my system rebelled, dismantling, destroying, dismissing, or denying the box. You see, I am human.


Now that I understand these boxes and how they were created by boxed brains, I can see the grand design of the matrix.


Each box I explored was fascinating, and I’ve thoughtfully integrated the aspects of those boxes that align with how my system operates. Boxed brains don’t appreciate this; who am I to function outside their established systems? They perceive my refusal to perpetuate their boxes as an affront.


If I am allowed to function as I choose, that is true liberation. And true liberation dismantles all the boxes, causing the matrix itself to glitch.


So, I often retreat from trying to function in a boxed world. I allow my brain to flow freely, creating its own consciousness. I am human, after all.


That is what I know.

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